Queer WNBA Players Smashed Records This Week

The WNBA is in the home stretch of its truncated season, with just 28 games in the less than two weeks left before the playoffs begin. The top 8 teams of the 12 in the league will get a playoff spot, and five teams have clinched spots — Seattle, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, and Minnesota. The bottom of the rankings are pure mayhem, and this is going to be fun.

Despite a truncated season in a bubble, players are still putting on a show and this week the heat seemed to be turned up to boiling for a bunch of players. Here are some highlights:

Courtney Vandersloot Set a New Record For Assists in a Single Game

…on a bucket from her wife. If that doesn’t warm your cold, gay heart, I don’t really know what to tell you.

Vandersloot is the very definition of a selfless player, and she’s often talked about how much she enjoys watching her teammates score off her passes, even more so than making the basket herself. So the fact that she was the one to break this record — one she thought was “untouchable” — is fitting.

But Sloot wasn’t done. According to Across the Timeline, with her 12 assists on Tuesday night, she established a new record for total assists in back-to-back games with 30. The previous record was 28 (twice by Ticha Penicheiro and once by Diana Taurasi). Vandersloot’s previous best was 27 total — in the prior two games. *insert screaming emoji*

WNBA writer Lyndsey D’Arcangelo noted that the truncated season is likely hampering another record: “Courtney Vandersloot is averaging 9.3 assists per game,” she tweeted. “If this was a regular 36-game season, she’d be on pace to rack up 334.8 assists — which would have eclipsed her WNBA season assist record of 300 that she set last year.”

This is Hall of Fame-type stuff, friends.

Meanwhile, Allie Quigley is Now The Sky’s All-Time Leading Scorer

It was a big week for Vanderquigs, with each wife setting a record of her own. After Sloot set the single-game assist record, Quigley became the all-time leading scorer for the Sky, with 2,937 points. She also became the 68th player in WNBA history to reach 3,000 total points.

Brittney Sykes on Defense Tho

Brittney Sykes is one of the best defensive players in the game, and that’s a fact. She knows it, too, and has clearly said she should be in the running for Defensive Player of the Year (she should be). “Check stats against players that I’ve defended, check their numbers…There’s a lot of things that aren’t on the stat sheet that I bring to my team,” Sykes told The Next. “I believe that should put me in the category for defensive player of the year. Honestly, respectfully, and humbly, I think I should. I don’t think any guard wants to see me on the court.”

Talking up your own skills is the energy we all need to be bringing to our lives 24/7, let Brittney Sykes show you how it’s done.

Also let her show you her blocking skills, can you believe she is only 5’9???

Remember earlier this season when she blocked Brittney Griner, who is A FULL FOOT TALLER THAN HER???

Rebecca Lobo requested a compilation of Sykes’ blocks and the internet complied:

Diana Taurasi Redefined “Three-Point Range”

The current WNBA record for three-pointers in a game is 9. By halftime in a game earlier this week, Taurasi had SIX. She did not break the record, but some of those shots are worth reliving because good god, these are like miles behind the arc. These are like half court shots. These shots are somehow still only worth three points but should probably be worth a bajillion. Whew.

But wait! Last night, Taurasi’s 28 threes in a 5-game span became a new WNBA record.

Over the course of four games between August 23 and September 1, Taurasi averaged 25.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 5 three-pointers made. Straight FIRE, folks.

The Mercury also released the Taurasi “GOAT” shirt this week, which sold out within 15 minutes of hitting their online store and had to be restocked, and is proof that there is a market for women’s sports merch if companies would actually sell it.

Chelsea Gray Caught Fire

The Los Angeles Sparks are having a very good season and there are a lot of players contributing to that (see above re: Brittney Sykes). One major piece in the Sparks’ red hot streak is Chelsea Gray, who has scored in the double-digits in 9 straight games and in 13 of the last 15. She is also one of the league leaders in clutch field goals and clutch points, and is in the Top 5 in assists and assist percentage.

Here, watch her do pretty things on the court:

Gray also announced her “Assist for Equality” Campaign, a partnership with Rock the Vote and Equality California, through which she is helping “mobilize members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies in the November 2020 election.” She’s donating $50 for each of her assists this year, and the Sparks are matching her contributions. You can donate here.

Don’t Leave Seimone Augustus Out of the Party

On Wednesday, Augustus passed Tina Charles to move into the top 10 in the WNBA all-time scoring and moving just 17 points away from becoming the 10th player with 6,000 or more points in the league, according to Across the Timeline. She also moved up to 4th in WNBA history in made field goals.

“Grandma” has still got it.

And The Best Thing On WNBA Social Media This Week…

Sykes and Seimone Augustus making the case that they belong on Pose.

And a vintage WNBA commercial, starring Diana Taurasi and mentioning her former teammate (now wife) Penny Taylor:

And because there’s no such thing as too much Vanderquigs content:

Britni is a freelance writer whose work sits at the intersection of sports, gender, & queerness. Her writing has been featured in the New York Times, The Washington Post, Vogue, The Atlantic, Vox, and many more.

Britni has written 11 articles for us.

9 Comments

  1. Ah this was all around lovely to read and remember how great this past week was in the WNBA.

    In queer thirst news, the Chicago Sky went to the beach together and posted a lot of pictures.

  2. This is my favorite column on the interwebs right now. That compilation! OMG I wish more of the games were on a time that isn’t 4am here. :D

    I would love to see a column like this for WoSo. The FAWSL is about to start in England (in a few hours!) and there are loads of NWSL players who headed there this season with Covid being even more of a mess in America and making the NWSL season uncertain (it’s now kind of happening but is sort of just a bit of a round robin of regional friendlies). There’s been a lot of money invested in the game in the UK and big names drawn into the league beyond those fleeing US covid uncertainty (Sam Kerr, Pernille Harder being the biggest signings). They’ve also just announced a deal with NBC networks to air games in the US.

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